Pursuit of Happiness

What are you going to do?

It is OK to be Not OK

Six Coronavirus Quick Hits: Should People in Quarantine Wear Ankle Monitors?

Here are a few coronavirus stories making headlines . . .

1.  Should people in quarantine be forced to wear GPS trackers, like the ankle monitors prisoners wear?  40% of Americans in a new survey said yes.

2.  WebMD’s “symptom checker” site has seen a crazy amount of traffic because of the outbreak.  So many people are checking symptoms, the number of visits has jumped 67 THOUSAND PERCENT since January 1st.

3.  The vodka brand Tito’s is telling people NOT to use its product to make hand sanitizer.  “Good Housekeeping” ran an article on how to make your own, and claimed all you had to do was combine vodka, aloe, and essential oils.

But hand sanitizer has to be 60% alcohol to be effective, and most vodkas are 40%.  Tito’s says it could have boosted their sales, but they didn’t want people wasting vodka.

4.  People are reportedly buying up CONDOMS in huge quantities . . . to cover their fingers, so they don’t have to touch things like elevator buttons.

5.  Toilet paper has also been selling out.  So a tabloid in Australia added eight blank pages to its newest issue.  They said it’s for people to “use in an emergency.”

6. And a doctor under quarantine in France had some reassuring words to calm people down. He currently has the virus, but it’s been pretty mild for him so far. In a Skype interview, he said dealing with his KIDS has been more exhausting than the virus itself.

Half of Us Might Start Wearing Face Masks in Public, Plus Nine More Coronavirus Items

Wearing those surgical face masks got popular in China after the SARS outbreak in 2002. So will the same thing happen here because of the coronavirus?

A new survey found over HALF of Americans are now thinking about it.  52% said wearing a mask is something they might consider, and only 21% said it’s “very unlikely” they will.

Here are some more coronavirus stories that are making headlines . . .

1.  The stock market fell about 1,200 points yesterday over worries the virus might cause a global recession.  That’s the biggest one-day point drop in U.S. history.

2.  Pope Francis skipped Mass yesterday because of a, quote, “slight [illness].”  So people started speculating he might have it.  He was seen coughing and blowing his nose on Ash Wednesday.  And about 400 cases have been confirmed in Italy.

3.  People have been buying up emergency food supplies at Costco.  And according to one report, they’re SOLD OUT.  (We checked their website and couldn’t find any doomsday meal kits, or those giant buckets of mac-and-cheese.)

4.  A woman in Japan who thought she’d beaten the virus three weeks ago just tested positive for it AGAIN.  China says the same thing has happened with 14% of its patients.  So apparently it can appear to go away, then come back.

5.  Some wellness influencers on social media are making things worse by telling people to take a dangerous amount of vitamins to boost their immune system.  Some of the doses they’re recommending have been described as “near lethal.”

6.  South Korea now has drive-thrus where people can get tested for the virus without getting out of their car.

7.  If the outbreak does get a lot worse, a website called The Organic Prepper posted a pretty thorough rundown of how to prepare in case you need to quarantine yourself.

8.  A family in Canada got kicked off a flight after their daughter started coughing, and people thought it might be coronavirus.  Apparently she just had a cold.

9. And cops in Arkansas are taking advantage of the paranoia by offering to test people’s METH for coronavirus free of charge. They say if you bring your drugs in, they’ll make sure they’re not contaminated with the virus. It’s not clear if anyone’s fallen for it yet.

Ten Stats for Valentine’s Day

A million studies and surveys come out around Valentine’s Day each year.  So we went through and pulled out the best stuff.  Here are ten random stats . . .

1.  Americans will spend $27 billion for Valentine’s Day this year.  And a lot of it is spent on CRAP.  Last year, we shelled out about $9.5 billion for UNWANTED gifts, like kitchen utensils or a gym membership.

2.  On average, nine million people propose on Valentine’s Day each year.  And roughly one million Facebook users will change their relationship status in the next few days.

3.  There’s a 33% spike in online dating in the two weeks before Valentine’s Day.  The states with the biggest spikes are Alabama, Texas, West Virginia, and Tennessee.  And Tinder will see a 20% surge in traffic today.

4.  The average online dater spends six hours a week looking for love.  Or about 51 minutes a day.  But according to a new poll, it’s NOT the top way people meet.  “Through work” and “through mutual friends” tied for first.

5.  The top international destination for Valentine’s Day this year is Mexico.  It’s home to all of the top three cities:  Cancun, Cabo, and Puerto Vallarta.

6.  Hallmark now makes over 1,260 unique Valentine’s Day cards you can buy.

7.  About 30% of annual flower sales happen this week.

8.  Only 20% of Americans think Valentine’s Day is romantic.  46% think it’s become too commercialized.

9.  Young people aren’t huge fans.  15% of people in Generation Z don’t think of today as a REAL holiday.  And of those who do celebrate, 25% would cancel it if they could.

10.  Other than our romantic partners, the top people we plan to give gifts to today are our kids . . . another family member . . . and a friend.  And 15% of us will buy OURSELVES a gift this year.

Block Tax Advisor

Trivia with Metro Business Friends

2018 Principal Charity Classic June 8-10

Thanks to the Principal Charity Classic and the Wakonda Club for hosting Media Day, I had another opportunity to play golf at the Wakonda club this past week.  Not only did I get to play, I was able to play with a couple great friends: Mike Downer with Iowa Catholic Radio, and Joe Stasi with MediaUSA Skywalk Advertising and the voice of the Iowa Barnstormers.

I always look forward to the Principal Charity Classic every year. I know my golf game leaves a lot to be desired. Though I do not have a talent for the game, it does give me the opportunity to hang out with friends as well as make new friends. I always tell people if I could swap my bowling and golf scores, I would be a pro at both, just like my Uncle Jim.  

Not only am I able to meet people at the Classic, it is always fun to be part of a great event that helps the Des Moines economy, in addition to creating memories which will last a lifetime. I always have to remind myself to get out at mingle with people. For me, this is not an easy thing to do because: a.) I am not huge on crowds, and b.) I am an introvert. I tell people I meet this all the time, yet they do not believe me. They find it difficult to believe considering I have been in the entertainment business throughout most of my life in various forms or being in a position which requires me to be in front of people. It is the truth and a bit ironic, I know. However, I am sure if you were to ever observe me at an event, you would see the awkwardness.  I tend to hold back from the crowd until I find a way to sneak in or find someone to pull me in to a conversation.

That being said, every year it surprises me the number of people I run into while taking part in events at the Classic. These interactions just reinforce my firm belief with regards to networking and branding myself. I believe it is about relationships and building a trust between others to do business, along with a strong network I am able to reach out to for ideas, as well as receiving feedback on my ideas.

On June 8th through 10th, just a few weeks away from now, Des Moines will be invaded by golf pros and fans alike, all for the Principal Charity Classic. I hope you are able to enjoy the event, if you are not a fan of golf. There is a lot to enjoy and gives yet another great opportunity to hang out with family and friends in the community.

Click here for Principal Charity Classic information

Share the Love in 2018

Another year has passed and it is time for a new chapter. I hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday season. I have been talking to friends and between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s they feel bloated. I am hearing all the comments about getting back on the diet wagon and cleansing after the last couple months.

I am starting the new year with a few changes again. I will be doing taxes again, this time at Block Advisors (a division of H&R Block). I am looking for my annual adventure as I do every year. For new years I hosted trivia for a neighborhood party. It was a fun time and had about twenty teams. I am looking for big things to happen in 2018.

I am still talking with a couple other venues to host trivia. There are still a couple places talking to me about positions. I seem to live in the world of hurry up and wait! I know I am not the only person who feels that way, but everything will happen in time. There is always something testing my patience and it keeps me humble.

Over the past year I have noticed how life is so busy. The unfortunate part of the observation it has started up conversations with people asking if life is that busy or are we just filling our lives to look important. I find it a very interesting question and I apply it to my own life. Am I trying to look busy or am I really fulfilling my life. I have more downtime than most people realize and I use that to try and inspire others. Something I have come to understand over the past few years is how important it is to treat others.

I believe my purpose and I think the purpose for all of us is to build up one another. It is our responsibility to help other be better in their lives. I ask myself every day how I shared a smile, opened a door, or shared kindness daily. It is important to understand that our small act of kindness can mean the world to someone else.

I now for my 2017 has turned my life upside down and I have failed in many areas, but I am still pressing on. I know I will still be picking up pieces in the new year, yet I cannot allow it to hold me back. No matter what happens in my life I will always do my best to share love and kindness to others. Life is not meant to fight and live in a constant argument. Unfortunately, I lived a lot of my life doing just that and realizing that we need to embrace others and lift them up has been a huge chip taken off my shoulder.

I want to thank all the kind words from others sharing with me how I have inspired them and impacted their life through a smile or helping hand. Let us go into 2018 with a smile and a hand ready to help other up when they fall. Do not tear them down because it only makes it worse. I have been there and I remember what it did to me and my emotions.

Make 2018 the year we learn to love each other and challenge ourselves to help other become better people.